A MONOGRAPH ON A VITAL ISSUE
CONCERNING THE Urantia BOOK AND MOVEMENT
Laguna Hills, CA
Dear U-reader friend:
Under separate cover I am sending you a "labor of love"--for the Urantia Book and Movement--that will scrape some sensitive nerves and awaken some drowsing (even if devoted) U-Book readers.
I brought Florence into the Sadler Forum in September of 1924, almost two years before we were married. We were identified with the U-Bk Movement at its inception and have been ever since. Known as an old timer, with my name and address in the Concordex, I have been easy for people to reach who believe our Movement is getting nowhere. If they have had no satisfaction from the Foundation it is likely they next appeal to me, assuming correctly that the Book and Movement are dearer to NO ONE'S HEART than mine.
Now, after years of effort on my part to get some Trustee policies changed, and years of self-reproach for not "blowing the whistle" on destructive and "over-kill" policies that are repressively stifling our Movement, I have--at last--acted. If you are one of the few who believe God is guiding the progress of our Urantia Book, and is guiding our Trustees, why did He not guide Adam and Eve and prevent failure of the second Epocha1 Revelation?
Why--if God safeguards and directs Epochal Revelations, were the Dalamatian teachings (except for one man's work) "practically lost to the whole world" ? (1007C) No--when Revelators provide a Revelation (Epochal) -- completing a decades-long task and leave their earthbound associates to "carry on" (as they did Adam and Eve who were much closer to God than our Trustees) the earth dwellers are "on their own"--to succeed or fail.
No matter how dear peace and tranquillity are to you, read the Monograph I am sending you with an open, fair mind. In the world's annals of ecclesiastical hierarchical history there is probably nothing so imperious and stultifying as the Urantia Foundation's policies. Five ordinary human beings meeting once in two weeks to determine whether reader-believers will be permitted to quote 11 words (or 11 paragraphs) from an EPOCHAL REVELATION provided by Revelators to be proclaimed to an entire world! Even paraphrasing forbidden! Reader-believers who have known nothing else, have become so inured to the illusion of validity that they fail to see the enormity of their movement's peril. Please read, think, even pray, and decide whether present conditions and policies need change. Whatever your opinion, please be good enough to write me your opinions and suggestions. And please appreciate the fact that your responsibility is to an EPOCHAL REVELATION, and a commission directly given you by Jesus himself--if you are a believer.
p.s. Jesus said "anger and wrath are not a part of the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men. " (1725D) I have cooled my anger over the many thousands of spiritually hungering people who have never learned of our Book's Celestial help, due to 533's self-defeating policies. It is time we all worked in brotherly love to move forward even at the cost of pet policies and prejudices, no matter who we are.
WHY THIS PAPER?
What is the reason for this paper? First, it was prompted by the Foundation's July News article on the copyright and quoting. The article seemed to be prompted by the talks I made before several hundred readers in May in several states. These talks in turn. were the result of a three year private effort on my part (and others) to get the Foundation to make its Policy on quoting accord with the Book's instructions to us all, and with the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law. All to no avail. So I started taking the facts of the law to the "congregation. "
As I met with many readers and worked on the issue, it became apparent that the quoting issue was the linchpin on which hung many of the failures of our Movement to move. As I worked on this quoting-copyright paper, I could not be honest without being candid. And I could not be candid without enlarging the paper into an appeal to ALL U-Book readers to appraise the situation objectively as regards the entire Urantia Movement. Our Movement today is like a vastly powerful Transport--The Urantia Book--prepared to carry the most important cargo this world has ever known--everywhere on earth. The engines' powerful thrust is designed to achieve enormously, literally to change the world. The fuel is human faith and energy and dedication to the Big Issue of getting the cargo where it is supposed to go: more than enough fuel already, to get at least some real and exciting action.
But where is the flight plan? Where are the pilot and officers? And the ground crew! To get this vast and magnificent transport revved up and off the ground for all the peoples of the world who need it? What is being done to gain enormous reserves of fuel?
If everything was in order, and all officers and readers and believers, each utilized his full capacity for discharging his or her rightful responsibilities, our transport could still never get off the ground while the Foundation's policy on quoting prevails. Neither the policy on the one hand, nor the lack of policy on the other, is consistent with either the Foundation's Declaration of Trust, nor with the U. S. Copyright Law's "fair use" provisions.
Vital as the quoting-copyright issue is, not much will be achieved by getting it corrected, unless readers in general begin realize how great is their direct commission from Jesus--unless they begin to get a true vision of the responsibility that attaches to the privilege of being numbered among the first generation or two to possess this EPOCHAL Revelation. I am sorry this paper is so long. it is long for three reasons I will mention:
1. I cannot take more time to attempt to shorten it. I have already wrung out and omitted much.
2. In my professional work, teaching mature and often long experienced adults all over the English speaking world, I early learned that what I omitted for brevity's sake on behalf of one sector of an audience, was sorely needed to be helpful and influential with another.
3. Brevity is fine for diversion, solace, amusement. It takes more than brevity to treat of grave and vital issues on which life patterns may be based. To expose many single facets of truth, light from more than one angle is required. People who earnestly weigh vital issues want some massing of evidence on which they may base lasting viewpoints.
Still, I say, if the paper does not hold your interest, don't read it. If you do read this paper, you are not indifferent to the success of our Movement, nor to the enormous responsibilities we must all shoulder to gain that success. This paper is not for officials, counselors, any of the Urantia reader-family, who are unwilling to face unsettling and sometimes painful truth .
I know there are many readers who share most, if not all, of the views that will comprise this paper. But they are reluctant to openly say so. Sooner or later. we all must face judgment regarding the "talent" our Master has entrusted to us to multiply for him. To make this and other issues clear I shall touch some tender spots. But I pray as I release this, that we all, who love our Book and its ineffable subjects, forgive and forget whatever has been or is now wounding. Our Movement, we have not seemed to realize, is mountainous compared to our personal pet vainglories, prejudices, and positions. Let us therefore unite under the Christ's wings, ("even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings"), and in fraternal love, get the titanic EPOCHAL REVELATION we have done so little to earn, and so little to spread, "up and away".
THE FACTS AND THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT
OF VAST AND VITAL IMPORTANCE
TO OUR MOVEMENT-- AND TO YOU!
A paper relative to The Urantia Book --for activists and movers in the Urantia- reader-believer family. (Not for general distribution.) by Clyde Bedell 2/81 Prefatory
"This gospel...belongs to all who believe it". (Jesus, 2044C) Jesus' tenth morontia appearance was before Abner and Lazarus "and some one hundred and fifty of their associates..." (2041C) Jesus said: "Go, then, into all the world proclaiming this gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men to all nations and races and ever be wise in your choice of methods for presenting the good news...Freely you have received this gospel...and you will freely give the good news to all nations. Fear not the resistance of evil, for I am with you always." (2042A) "
"The Christian missionaries of the desert lands were an austere and un-yielding group in contrast with the compromisers and innovators who functioned as missionaries in the Mediterranean countries. Had the followers of Jesus taken more seriously his injunction to 'go into all the world and preach the gospel,' and had they been more gracious in that preaching, then many lands would gladly have received the simple gospel...Arabia among them." (1051A)
(The loss of Arabia and many other countries to Christianity, due to Abner's missionaries. Islam arose as a result--including the world's Ayatollah Khoumeinis. There are now 37 Islamic countries in the world. Perhaps Abner's missionaries (Trustees) wish now they had been a little less dogmatic--more gracious. )
"Christianity is threatened by slow death and formalism, over-organization and other non-spiritual trends. (Christians) are not such a dynamic brotherhood of believers as Jesus commissioned continuously to effect the spiritual transformation of successive generations of mankind." 2083D)
"Prior written permission must be obtained from the Urantia Foundation, for quoting or reproducing material from The Urantia Book". (Paraphrase of various, injunctions -- Trustees of the Foundation.)
Regardless of Jesus' and the Book's mandates?
I believe this subject has reached its "time". It is of vast importance to the Urantia Movement. We are not dealing with an ordinary book --but with an EPOCHAL PLANETARY REVELATION...only the fifth in all the world's history. One of the most stupendous things that has ever occurred on Urantia. or ever will. was the coming of this revelation to the world. YOU HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED
A vital and renewing spark of responsibility awareness, and an energizing recognition of divine appointment need to be realized in a great many U-Bk reader hearts. * True, this paper may fail to move you. It may be a mere blip in the record-history of the Urantia Movement. But if it touches your inmost judgment and your intuitions as to how vastly important is our engagement with this monumental Revelation to our sorry world, and how unequaled may be its significance in any activist reader's life, it could--hopefully--awaken you to the stunning realization that Jesus Christ--Christ Michael--the Creator of our entire local universe has commissioned you, and me, and all of us, to a continuous ministry that embraces all future generations--and to a crucial day-to-day, every day job that must have greater attention from all of us than it has been getting.
I believe no earthly friendships or loyalties, as an afterthought, I am adding, should be advanced to excuse us for failing this planet's Fifth Epochal Revelation's demands upon us--in order that we may avoid facing important difficult issues. Nor should we permit our Urantian distaste for confrontations to subdue our consciences while we betray the trust of the Revelation's Celestial sponsors. Of all authorities who have any call upon us, they are the highest, wisest, and the FIRST to whom we have an obligation.
WHY IS THERE A Urantia FOUNDATION?
WHY IS THERE A Urantia BROTHERHOOD?
WHAT ARE WE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE DOING?
THE "PRINCIPAL OBJECT" of the Urantia Foundation is "the promotion, improvement and expansion among the peoples of the world of the...understanding of Cosmology...and of the true teachings of Jesus Christ." Those are the precise words of the Declaration of Trust under which the Foundation exists and operates. This cannot be done by five Trustees alone. However, they are responsible for providing the program, the executive leadership, and the guidance and dynamics to make sure the objective is achieved. If you and I are believing U-Bk-readers we inescapably share that responsibility. The Foundation-Brotherhood must achieve through us. And it must permit us all appropriate leeway to encourage and inspire us to do our part fully. The Brotherhood is totally dominated by the Foundation. Its "PURPOSE", stated in its Constitution--in almost identical words--echoes the Foundation's "PRINCIPAL OBJECT." There is no equivocation whatever.
Jesus, the Fourth Epochal Revelation to this planet, was "The Word Made Flesh". The Fifth Epochal Revelation is The Urantia Book; "The Word Made Book". In the Book Jesus again and again demands that his followers and believers, not alone his apostles and disciples, to proclaim his Message to the world. If our Movement is to succeed, it is extremely important that you clearly understand and accept this. To do so you should thoughtfully read all of the page references I have listed right here, before continuing your further reading.
Admonitions, Instructions (Incomplete) 1543B, 1584A, 1608B, D, 1804D, 1824D, 1931D, 2033B, 2034A, 2042A, 2043B, 2044C, 2052D, 2053B, 2054A, 2057C, D. Jesus' continuous commission to brotherhood believers, for all successive generations, 2083D (1051A)
You see Jesus was addressing his urgent admonitions to you--and to me--as well as to his apostles and disciples and contemporary believers. So there will be no doubt in your mind, re-read 2083D. It is notable that almost at the end of the Book, you will find this urgent (to Jesus) subject of transforming mankind, of winning believers, is brought up again. Jesus commanded his brotherhood of believers to continuously "effect the spiritual transformation of successive generations of mankind. " You know what "continuously" means, and you know what "successive generations" means. Jesus does not, and the Book does not, except the Foundation Trustees, nor does Jesus or the Book except you--and me. We--all of us--Trustees and all, are supposed to be achieving insofar as we can, this spiritual transformation. * See "2.1 Principal Object", Declaration of Trust, inside front cover.
The Urantia Book is here for a crucial purpose. One way or another we all have become U Bk-reader-believers to play our parts in fulfilling that purpose. If we are passive rather than dynamic believers we had better have sound reasons for being passive.
If Jesus were to confront you today--after you have read the references I pointed out for you--would you tell him that you don't believe he meant you? Would you, for instance, dare tell him that it is not possible for you to lead one new reader per year into the practical and spiritual advantages we enjoy from the Book? If, ever since 1955 when the Book was published, only 50 believing Forum members and then every new purchaser of The Book had introduced just one more person into the greatly blessed fold of readers every year since, over 90 million U Bks would be abroad in the world--instead of our approximately 110,000--1/800 as many. Shocking how lightly we have received and disseminated a supernal Epochal Revelation! Our record is hardly one any of us should be pleased with. Two Epochal Revelations have failed on this planet--gone awry. The first quarter century of our Revelation on earth is hardly convincing testimony that the Fifth Epochal Revelation will succeed. If the Foundation Trustees believe you are content, satisfied, with our Movement's progress, you are partly responsible for our lack of progress.
Do you know the truth? Face this brief incomplete summary: Fewer stores offer the U Bk for sale now than did several years ago. In view of burgeoning public religious interest, that is regression. U Bk sales through 1980 remained practically level for six years. That too is the equivalent of regression, while activist religious groups have made vast advances. Since the radical price increase to $34, sales have precipitously declined. We have, world-wide, (according to the most informed estimates) around 100 plus Study Groups with perhaps 500- 800 attendees. And we have 13 or 14 Societies with (around) 500 members. There are about 200 Brotherhood members at large!. We were expected 25 years ago to form thousands of Study Groups. At present rate of growth we will perhaps have only 1000 Groups in another 175-200 years. The Foundation, spending heavily on legal fees and substantially for travel, (instead of reserving from Book Sales enough funds to pay for the inevitable next printing) is--with the Brotherhood--financially strapped, and facing the heavy financing of the seventh printing.
About 85% of all U Bk purchasers (from bookstores) have had to try to read and become believers in the Book without the aid of an index. (The U Bk is probably the only important serious Book or manual on earth whose publishers do not offer an index, even if separate, as an integral Part of their book listing. ) We thus lose thousands of U Bk purchasers who bog down in their reading and are lost to our Movement. A number of readers have reduced or stopped their financial contributions because they believe our Movement is hardly moving and is pursuing wrong priorities and negative policies.
Why is not this greatest religion ever extant on earth pursuing quietly, purposefully, effectively, inexorably, well thought-out positive policies and programs? With all reader-believers enthusiastically spreading the Gospel as they are so repeatedly instructed to do?
There is no established, cohesive program to change all this, and such programs as are attempted are handicapped by restrictions.
There is Only One WAY Our Great Book Can Do What It Is on Earth to Do.
The Urantia Book is here to minister to--to transform spiritually--a desperately jeopardized world. A great deal of what is wrong with our Movement's ineffectual achievement stems from our failure as a whole, officially and unofficially, to recognize our inescapable responsibility to evangelize. ( Read now, thoughtfully, the Declaration of Trust's "ARTICLE II, Objects, and the Brotherhood Constitution's "ARTICLE II, Purpose." From top to bottom our organizations have largely disregarded their avowed common purpose. Exceptions are not numerous.)
There is no way on earth we can do our job but by evangelization. "Evangelization" means the "promotion and expansion of Jesus' Gospel.'" We have all heard an occasional comment (excuse?) to the effect that we should not evangelize. "We are supposed",- they say, "to win believer-readers by the examples of the beautiful lives we live." I have been fortunate in making a good many reader-believers. I would have made none of them had I waited for them to see in mine, so beautiful a life, they would insist on knowing how I got that way. Isn't that about true of almost all U-readers? Even perhaps of you? (SOME readers ''tune out" the word "evangelize". Don't. Check it in the dictionary. "Evangel" is a synonym for "gospel". The Books Matthew, Mark, Luke, are called "evangels". TV evangelists you don't like do not change the real meaning of the word. (All-wise authors of U Bk papers use the word. We must too. The word "Jesus" is often used profanely. But we don't give it up. )
The Master would have all mankind in his "Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of all men" believer ranks. In gaining believers He will accept gladly all the help He can get from such imperfect beings as you and I can give him--right now, and tomorrow, and every tomorrow. He, of course instructs us to become exemplary human beings, but He wants our evangelization now--and "continuously" (remember?) while we are improving ourselves. This too, Urantian-believers must understand.
Jesus established a training school--a camp--for evangelists. Peter was in charge. In five months several thousand lay people-imperfect human beings then, as we are today--were instructed at the camp. (1657C) They were not told by any hierarchy or camp official that they had to win new believers in Jesus' gospel by the perfection of their lives. They were trained in meetings exactly like those we call "sales meetings" today. Jesus daringly made evangelists of women as well as men. (Remember the "Seventy"?) Read Paper 148: "Training Evangelists At Bethsaida". (How much calculated earnest training are we doing--or getting?) Add reading Paper 148 to the references I mentioned above. No one can deny it, it is your duty if you are a true believer, to evangelize. To evangelize within your own capacity of course. We are all different. But we can all learn to feel for the sensitive areas in the soul-hungering and spiritually confused around us. There are people around you who need precisely whatever is the type of soul-help you can provide. Others around your reader friends, and around me, need what your friends and what I can give. It is God's truth --this is true of all of us--there are NO exceptions. We need only awaken to our responsibility and to the potentials within us--talents, a yearning to serve, personal concern for others, and outreach --that match the responsibility of our "commission."
I repeat: ''Evangelization" is the '"promotion and expansion" of Jesus' Gospel. Are we to follow Jesus' instructions and his example or do we continue very largely to husband the precious Book's treasures and truth for ourselves and our already believing readers? The Founding Trustees knew the purpose of their Foundation was "evangelization)'.
Read again the parable of the talents. (1916D) I wonder if we, prompted and influenced partly by policy constraints and quoting restrictions, are being slothful servants. Certainly no servants of the Lord have ever on this earth been given greater Talents with which to earn gains for our Lord than the papers of our exalted Book. But we seem supposed to keep the Book buried or wrapped in a napkin to be looked at now and again for our delight. Is not the Book here, as we believe, to be used in multiplying in others lives the benefits it has given us? Well, a good many readers feel we are practically adjured, by Trustees, to use the Book very sparingly, and certainly NOT to quote it, not to talk it or write from it, not to evangelize with it unless we in each instance write in, fill out a form, and get permission. We are, we are told, to win others to Jesus' gospel by the beautiful lives we live. The Book is only incidental.
The Copyright Law Does Not Impose the Foundation's Unwarranted Quoting Restrictions
I HAVE ALWAYS insisted that maintenance of the U Bk's copyright and the text's integrity are vital and essential. The files of the Foundation, as well as my own, well-prove that I have more vigorously and consistently, supported the Foundation orally and in writing, in its necessity to maintain the copyright against real violators than has ANYONE else in the Urantia Movement. I will continue to do so. But maintaining the integrity of the text is a major matter that has nothing to do with the modest quoting of Urantia-Book-reader speakers and writers.
Only when the Foundation circulates a letter from a qualified attorney flatly stating that this penny-ante game of getting prior permission before you can quote from the U-Bk involves you in copyright violation need you give it a shot. Even then, other attorneys will confound that one--for the Trustee's claims are not true. Further, it is not true that the Trustees must enforce the Present "prior permission" policy in order to maintain the copyright as a safeguard for their effective maintenance of the validity of the copyright.
Most U-Bk Readers who would like to obey Jesus' instructions feel they are hobbled and restrained by the Foundation's policy demands that sharply restricts quoting and requires the getting of written prior permission.
The U-Bk copyright was obtained so the original text of the Book could be preserved "inviolate against those who would corrupt, "savage", steal, or exploit the text. It was not obtained in order that U-Bk readers could be prevented from freely quoting from the Bk--reasonably and within "fair use" provisions of the copyright law. It was not obtained to prevent readers and speakers and writers from quoting reasonably, freely, without prior and written permission. But that is what the Foundation is using the copyright for.
The Foundation's policy contradicts the purpose of the Book's presence on Urantia. It denies the validity and authority of many of Jesus' admonitions to you and to me (and to the Trustees) which you should already have read as I requested--a dozen or more of them. Present policy has the authority of the Foundation transcending that of Jesus. If the Foundation's policy is not changed, those who would attempt (as they have been instructed) to "continuously effect the spiritual transformation of mankind," must attempt it without most of the help the Revelation is here to provide. Who are these human beings who through the accident of choice as copyright custodians believe their privately formulated rules transcend Christ's instructions?
Evangelization should sometimes be exuberant. It should always be warmly personal and enthusiastic, illuminating, authoritative, and outreaching. And it should always be specific and confident. But Foundation policy makes our evangelization largely timorous, a "withholding" or "holding back", a fearful walking on eggshells. Lest the Foundation be affronted.
The Foundation's July News article on "copyright and quoting", which caused me to write this paper (after I heard a good deal about the article), says the "advance permission forms" permit "conference performers unlimited use of material from The Urantia Book". ("Unlimited" is a concession I had never heard before. ) Can such talks then be printed? If speakers are permitted this upon use of "prior permission forms", can writers in Urantia publications have the same privilege? If "unlimited use" is really meant, that means speakers too, can go beyond "fair use"?
If speakers can go beyond "fair use" why are we not all told: "Quote at will within 'fair use', no forms required." Neither "permitted" or "fair" use negates the copyright's protection. The law is clearly stated, and not self-denying. The Foundation's explanations are ambiguous. And withal, they still demand prior written permission, even to quote limitedly, and even though you are within "fair" use, and even though you are entitled to quote without asking anyone's permission! The Book is here for that purpose, not for your private (secret?) reading and profit.
The policy is equivalent to the Trustees saying "By our decree the U Bk is excepted from the fair use provisions of the law." This they have no right, societal or legal, to do. The law permits you and me to decide, at our risk, what is "fair use" of copyrighted matter. In the case of any possible enemies of our Book, the Trustees cannot deprive even them of quoting at their own discretion.
Demanding "prior permission" by the way. is "prior restraint" and has no standing in law. It should be obvious that the "prior permission" policy is unenforceable. It can be applied only against the few readers accessible to 533 (in a very big world), and those few (the "Urantia family") are the least apt anywhere to quote incorrectly.
So, I say to you, quote the Urantia Book when and as you wish -- reasonably, intelligently, enthusiastically. Read what the copyright law itself tells you. For instance, it says: "Fair use of copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction copies for Purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." (A Trustee admitted to me a few months ago he had never read the copyright law !) I quote from Section 107. That is not ambiguous. But, I repeat, 533 policy and the writing about it, are. The Foundation Has No Right to Forbid Your Quoting Within the Law
(Nor has it any right to demand that you ask its permission to quote what the law already says you may quote.)
IF THE FOUNDATION wished to assail you, charging that you had violated "our copyright" to the U-Bk, here are the factors--written into the law--that a court would have to consider in determining the validity of the Foundation's charge:
(1) the character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work (ours is here precisely for dissemination. C.B.);
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market and the value of the copyrighted work (the more we evangelize and quote the greater will be the Foundation's market. C. B.)
Those are the actual provisions of the law. It is obvious we can heed Jesus' and the Book's admonitions to us, direct and indirect, and easily abide within the law's fair use provisions--WITHOUT APPEALING TO THE FOUNDATION FOR PERMISSION TO QUOTE. We cannot, however, conveniently or rationally abide by the personally imposed restrictions of the Trustees and at the same time freely obey the Master and the U-Bk. Whom should we choose to follow?
Truth must be free to be expressed if there is to be progress in any constructive movement. The people upon whom a movement's success depends cannot be gagged and remain effective. And the truth of an Epochal religious Revelation, particularly, cannot be bottled and corked to be dispensed a sentence or paragraph at a, time by Caesar's permission, or that of any secular prelacy. Such an attempt at restriction ("You can say only what we permit you to say of what's in this Revelation") prevents birth and growth of the individual diversity Jesus espoused and that our Great Book supports. The Foundation has no right whatever, none, to declare that a sermon, article, or book cannot quote from The Urantia Book--so long as the integrity of the text "is maintained inviolate," and "fair use" under the law is observed. Even in the event of violation of either or both of these the Foundation has no power--none--until after violation has occurred.
A few days before his death some weeks ago, I talked for an hour and a half on the telephone with the Foundation's copyright lawyer. I could not get him to say that my views on this copyright issue, here expressed to you, are wrong. I could not get him to say that the prohibitions of 533 are necessary or valid. He at no time, nor in any way, gave me the impression that the stringent dicta of the Trustees were of his devising, or essential to protecting the text's integrity. All he would say on the crux of the issue was: "Well, what is 'fair use' is sometimes questionable, and is often the basis of lawsuits. The Foundation feels...et cetera." I hope he made a tape of the conversation, for it would, or will, confirm all this. Incidentally, he had never read the Urantia Book, and he had never been told until I told him, that in a dozen places we readers are admonished and commissioned by Jesus to proclaim his Gospel to all the world!
I have talked this issue with several other lawyers. Not one has said that the Foundation policy which, in effect, negates fair use, is valid or supportable.
The Foundation's July News discussion of this subject, aiming to perpetuate an invalid prior permission policy makes it imperative that the issue be resolved. Both the Foundation's position and that of those who decry it, cannot be right. Until rational common sense and the privileges within the law are acknowledged to prevail, our Movement will continue to be handicapped by a policy so dangerous and incapacitating that as one outstanding scholar of the U-Bk put it: "It could hardly have been more harmfully framed to slow down our progress."
It is time our Movement fell into line not only in this matter of quoting but also in line with universal quoting practice-- as well as with our Book's instructions to us to spread the gospel.
The Foundation's Aberrant Stance on Quoting Runs Counter to Universal Custom
IF 533's ABERRANT copyright stance were followed by copyright holders generally it would put an end to a vast amount of scholarly work, research, authoring, and the usual processes of education and civilization. It would impose an ugly partial eclipse on literature and the cross-fertilization of intelligence. Aside from within the Urantia Movement, acceptance of the principle of "fair use" is apparent everywhere--a fact of life generally.
It is important to the long-range success of the Urantia Movement that The Urantia Book be treated by authors, educators, religionists, and writers generally as a Revelation to the world --not as an esoteric manual for an elitist or semi-secret group of insiders.
If you are not fully aware of how general and accepted is the practice of quoting copyrighted works, let me provide some evidence. What I provide here can be duplicated anywhere where there are a few serious books.
DR. SADLER was beyond all doubt the most experienced and worldly wise man in the field of publishing our Movement has ever known. Perhaps the greatest of the many books he authored was "The Mind At Mischief." I decided to check a few of its pages, and then a few other books in my library, quickly, casually, for their use of quotes.
Opening the Dr.'s book midway, I found in a very quick check that within 65 pp. he quotes other men and books on pp. 257, 266, 276, 281, 296, and 320, sometimes quite substantially (one quote some 475 words). (I no doubt missed some.)
How about Dr. Sadler's book 'Modern Psychiatry"? In it, he quotes Hathaway, p. 153; "Medical Education", p. 624; Emerson, 730; Jung on p. 757. He quotes Fosdick and Gordon Allport on 758, James Whitcomb Riley on 778 also Freud, 804; and Adler, 809. Those are enough to illustrate.
I next reached for Jacques Barzun's "God's Country And Mine". Opening the book at random I found he quoted a report of "The World Council of Churches", p. 123; Cardinal Newman, 126 (200 words); Blake, 127; James Russell Lowell, 147; Billy Rose, 149; O. Henry, 192; Charles Morton, 194. Enough for that book.
I next reached for a business book--Harvard University's celebrated Professor of Marketing, Dr. Harry Tosdal's "Principles Of Personal Selling". In his first 100 pages he quotes Chauncey Depew, "Printer's Ink Monthly, John Watson, Wm. McDougall, Warren, Luce, and Starch.
At an extreme from a business book, I took down "Anthology Review"--a book of 27 essays from 27 markedly diverse authors. I quickly checked 13 of the 27 and stopped. Twelve of the 13 used quotes. Author after author used quote after quote from author after author and publication after publication.
The authors of these essays are learned, sophisticated people who know literature, the world of books, professional courtesy, and the western world's accepted ways of education and the propagation of ideas. To name a few of the essayists: Andre Gide, Henry Seidel Canby, Virginia Woolf, Henry Mencken, Justice Cardozo, Aldous Huxley.
In not one of all these books did I see evidences of petitions for permission to quote. In not one any notice: "By permission of ". Only at 533 Diversey are there copyright custodians who deny the otherwise universally understood privilege of quoting copyrighted matter--so essential for the diffusion of education, of ideas, and civil and religious learning. Without the cross-pollination of learning and wisdom of the past hundred or so years. our world would be shadowed still by the dark ages.
Only at 533 do people in charge of a supernal and copious wellspring of wisdom, attempt to keep their celestial succor for the world, from reaching the world--except a mite at a time ''by permission of... ('write us first. Fill out a form.")
A MOST CRUCIAL QUESTION
This leads me to ask a most crucial question, crucial to our Movement's progress, and crucial to the success of the Fifth Epochal Revelation. The Urantia Book's copyright is for the benefit of all Urantians, and is indeed held in trust for the Urantia Movement by the Foundation's Trustees. It is not their personal property but is held to facilitate and to assure that the Objects of the Trust may be carried out.
The question is: "How can copyright custodians who feel a human copyright's Non-Existent provisions over-ride and dissolve the repeated instructions of a divine Revelation and Divine Revelators--how can such custodians possibly abide by the legally and morally binding OBJECTS AND PURPOSES of the organizations they dominate and control, unless they can be led to READ. UNDERSTAND and HONOR their Declaration of Trust, the Fair Use Provisions of the copyright Law and the PURPOSE of a Brotherhood established to widely and successfully do precisely what these custodians determinedly forbid? The Foundation will tell you that 533 is understaffed and overworked. And it is surely true. Sincere, eager, hard-working people, sludged under a continuing avalanche of correspondence, queries, forms, requests, petitions, book-keeping, visitors, and more. Yet they, with the expensive delaying help of lawyers, release a few words at a time of the vast Revelation Reservoir of good for the world--upon petition. And this (they seriously, but mistakenly) contend is "to protect the text, inviolate". 1, 100, 000 words ! Editors of a Urantian publication that intended publishing an article of mine told me: "It takes six weeks normally to get permission back from Chicago to run a quote, no matter how brief." I wonder how long it will take and how much it will cost the Movement to get permission back to quote a sentence or two when (hopefully) we have two to four times as many readers as now, making speeches and writing articles. And will the Foundation have time then to do anything but respond to unnecessary petitions? To many readers, the present policy is a make-work exercise that multiplies futility and frustration, while doing nothing important to maintain the text, inviolate.
Incidentally, I saw no reason for asking permission to quote 11 words from Jesus that were in my article mentioned above. ( "This gospel of the kingdom is for all who believe it". Jesus, 2044C) "Fair use" covers the matter as well as do common sense and the Book's instructions to us. However, to meet the Trustees personally instituted rules (not legally necessary safeguards), the editors sent my entire 1500 word article to Chicago to see if printing the 11 word quote from Jesus (who said his gospel belongs to everyone who believes it) would endanger the U Bk's 1.100,000 word inviolable text. It is a quite safe bet that, despite our Movement's many important problems mentioned earlier, the President of the Foundation himself will use Trustee, staff, and perhaps legal counsel time, to handle this grave 11-word matter.
It is probably a safe bet he will send a long letter granting permission--to prove Trustee magnanimity. (To refuse would be more ridiculous than to require prior permission.) But he will list some provisos, I dare say, requiring some footnotes. And without doubt one that will suggest I am mistaken about copyrights? All this would be consistent with Foundation policy.
If editors must pay obeisance to hierarchical whims, how humbled must they be to feel it necessary to send 1500 words of context instead of simply asking: "May we have permission to use this 11 word quote, (with page number), in an article by Clyde Bedell?"
Such policy makes of every Urantian religious publication a sort of house organ for a small hierarchy. And nowhere can believers in the Movement have voice to question widely (when quiet reasoning achieves nothing) the substitution of petty legalisms for genuine safeguarding of the copyright, or of trivia for the enormous responsibility to "promote, improve, and expand" the world's understanding of the "teachings of Jesus Christ". You know Lord Acton's aphorism. Some reader-believers in our Movement sense hierarchical power which in any movement usually leads to schism and failure--or to tyranny. Seeing ghosts in the future? You'd better believe it. Their shadows are already cast. Yet all this can be changed by a change in Foundation attitudes and policies. Time and money and the intelligence of readers not in the hierarchy are for what? Hopefully to prevent what we already see: The Lord Jesus and the Book itself on one side, together with the Declaration of Trust and the Brotherhood Constitution, all commanding--and Foundation policy countermanding. The Lord Jesus and the Book demanding outreach, and centrifugal evangelization. And the Foundation insisting upon tightly controlled centripetal attention to miniaturizing the Movement under their interdiction.
We are being led to particle-ize a voluminous and colossal Revelation. The Foundation would medicine-dropper (upon proper written prior petition, of course) the vastest religious-philosophical reservoir on earth. Even with the Urantia family we are made Oliver Twists begging for more--when the gospel is ours to give--already, by divine assertion and by universal practice in the world of ideas.
Dusting Bric-a-bracs While The House Burns Down This whole effort--which is an early warning--is the dusting of bric-a-brac by the fire officials while the house is burning down. If these seem extreme words, learn the truth.
It is only when someone has the temerity to assert "The Emperor has on no clothes" that good movements become freed from the natural human inclination of "position- protected" hierarchies (secular or religious) and dictators. I am not condemning people, but policies. Who on earth is not human? Who knows but that you and I, in such positions, would sooner or later concentrate on consolidating our positions instead of our Movement -- would concentrate on handling ant instead of ostrich eggs?
Any U-Bk reader and any publication publisher on earth, staying within the liberal provisions of "fair use" may quote any copyrighted work wherever and for as long as he wishes, until and unless copyright holders can prove he has done injury to them or to their properties. Yet, look at the momentous absorption of human talents and time and money stirred up by the use of an 11-word U-Bk quote: a petition, Xeroxing, reading and re-reading, correspondence, consultation, provisos, specific instructions, explanations, huffing and puffing, and the neglect of infinitely greater responsibilities. Then must come check-ups, testimony as to circulation (and no extras !, I presume) and preparation for the next '"threat" to the text.
Had the editor's request been for the use of 33 or 66 or 111 words, the same inconsequential and time-wasting realities and ritualistic formalities would have prevailed .
Our Movement would be infinitely better off if far more people were using far more quotes. The copyright's value as a safeguard against evil would still remain. It is not for trivia that authors and publishers get copyrights. It is not to prevent moderate quoting. It is to prevent real offenses, which after the fact, must be proved to have been harmful. The copyright is to protect the text inviolate so we can continue "forever", and with others, to quote for the spiritual regeneration of the world. Can you imagine the Foundation successfully suing a U-Bk-reader for doing what the Lord and the Book itself order and commission him to do? And that the Copyright Law clearly says he is entitled to do? What a horrendous waste of time, legal fees, energies -- and cooped-in energies for evangelization! The cost is very dear for nothing substantive whatever. And our Movement is ground-bound by legalistic claptrap and fribbles .
It is not petty petitioning that will keep the text inviolate. The best protection of a work in support of a copyright is many thousands of believing readers who will protect and secure the text against debauchers. If we all pursue our responsibilities named in the Declaration of Trust and the Brotherhood Constitution, it will become impossible for potential enemies of the Movement, or anyone else, to quote incorrectly. They would be rebuked and discredited at once. There is much protection, indeed, in wide circulation.
WE ALL need to PRAY FOR OUR MOVEMENT interminably, without surcease
I declare that in great earnest. These are not small personal affairs. not small personal complaints, not small usurpation's of privileges, not small goals at stake. They have to do with an EPOCHAL REVELATION for an entire planet, and with commensurate responsibilities. We are, none of us, answerable to the personal preferences or to the invalid policies of the Foundation illicit policies which are intimidating and tongue-tying many true believers . Policies must not be permitted to constrict evangelization. Policies and authority must not be permitted to silence criticism and questioning. Nor to make sycophants of editors or of regional and local leaders.
But. I quickly add that the very same people who attempt to enforce unenforceable policies today can be strongly supported for valid and constructive policies tomorrow-if. IF...they have the capacity to redress wrongs, and change insupportable policies. Entrenched hierarchies find it difficult to admit error and to change. In which case, in time, followers and supporters simply do the Master's work and ignore the policy makers and their mistaken rules. Pray that our policy makers can change.
Why Do I Discuss These Matters With Some Activist U-Readers Instead of Privately Requesting a Change in Trustee Policy?
SINCE 1973 I have attempted with letters and appeals to 533 officialdom to modify for readers their policy on quoting. The most definitive response I have had is the July News Foundation article which discredits me and my views with everyone who has heard or read my advice in recent months.
I would have liked to discuss all the aspects of this matter--and at length and privately--with the Trustees, but that was never their desire. So now I must publicly stand for the legal and natural rights of all readers to quote and evangelize within the copyright law's fair use provisions--without asking the Foundation for a privilege (which is already the readers'). (I know others have sought change in this policy too.)
The intelligent way to settle vital differences of opinion between people, all of whom should be eager to cooperate under God's will for this Revelation, would be to get together to fully consider and settle the issue or issues--then in unity pursue right objectives in friendly cooperation. 533 doesn't work that way. (Eminent and dedicated Urantians can testify that the Trustees say they want--but they do not welcome-- suggestions.) The Foundation asserts itself and abides rigidly by its own position. It publishes what may be considered in error by people as well qualified as (or better qualified than) themselves to help determine policies. But in their publications they do not invite rebuttals or contrary views.
They have never deemed my views, expressed in this paper, of sufficient importance to even suggest we discuss them. However, the copyright matter and the quoting issue are of such great importance to the Movement that I feel compelled to see them settled fairly and in accord with: (1) the law, (2) with what is good for the Movement, (3) with the Foundation's "Object" and the Brotherhood's "Purpose", and (4) with what readers--who, after all ARE the Urantia Movement--can live with effectively and comfortably, while fulfilling their commission from Jesus.
Like almost all U readers I would like to be persona grata and cooperating with 533--as I was with original and earlier Trustees. But if to be persona grata now I must silently watch while we are all substantially gagged by unrealistic and indefensible policies while our appeals and objections are ignored, I elect to be persona non grata.
So I make this public request for a change in policy.
The policy could easily be graciously changed to one that can live and be supported through the years and that would do our Movement substantial good. Otherwise all readers who would do the Master's work, must simply proceed to do it as we are commissioned to. We need not acknowledge policy that reduces The Urantia Book to the equivalent of a private chattel to the Trustees--instead of recognizing it as a "world property" with which we are intended to serve the world. While still fully protecting the text!
The Trustees do not own The Urantia Book. they are simply custodians of the Copyright and the text's integrity while they supposedly fulfill their obligations for disseminating it to the world.
I suggest meanwhile that we joyously evangelize, each in his or her own way. I suggest you enjoy your privilege of quoting as the law allows. Let us not be slothful servants. Let us unbury the talent, and intelligently and with discretion, multiply it for the Master and for the Good of the world. For what other "OBJECT" were we given this Revelation? Policies could easily be changed to accord with the Revelation's purpose.
After all this, you may wonder as to the spirit in which I write: I respect what I assume is sincerity at 533. But sincerity has often made great errors and I look for guidance elsewhere than from custodians of the copyright. I believe the course I should follow embraces the Master's repeated instructions to me (in the U-Bk) to proclaim his message. No writer in the Great Book suggests a humanly devised rule or group of rules that set a few human judgments above the Book's, and above quoting practices the civilized world has evolved in a long period of trying to bring light to mankind.
THE TRUSTEES ARE ONLY HUMAN
No one, not even the Pope, is infallible, the world is slowly learning--as pro-natal Church policy is rushing the Church headlong toward growing worldwide recognition of its responsibility for much of the untold suffering of inexorably, progressively increasing millions of starving families. It is taking the Church a long time to learn that erroneous policies are better changed early than late.
If the Trustees early modify their policy on quoting, believe they will substantially reduce reader dissatisfaction with our official body. (From the Movement's standpoint it is already late) I believe additional U-Bk-reader energies will be released to proclaim "the Gospel". I believe it will stimulate positively, Brotherhood activities now excusably neglected ("The Foundation objects...the Foundation says I can't...this...and that") I believe a released brotherhood of men and women--in using our Book more generously (but always within good taste and the law)--would gradually bring more spirituality into our many meetings and conferences, would feel closer to the Book's authors and to the Jesus they quote. Above all, I believe a change in policy would elevate and dignify our efforts and the Book's potential to serve the world as we and the Book are intended to serve it.
As to the spirit in which I write--I have, I repeat, determinedly supported the Foundation in regards to REAL copyright violation. even supporting the Trustees against a dear Personal friend. who DID violate the copyright. I can, and we all should. support the Foundation in intelligent execution of policies consonant with its specified Responsibilities. But we must have sufficient loyalty to the Revelation and to its celestial sponsors to be willing to stand in the open and brave Trustees' wrath and retaliation when the good of The Urantia Book and its Revelation are at stake. To be blind to, or to cover up the peccadilloes of friends may be virtuous. But to be blind and silent to friends' perversions of God-given commissions (after corrections have been refused) is to be party to the very Grave error.
Jesus told us in the event of a brother's refusing to hear you when his wrongs have been pointed out, the ultimate thing to do is to tell the whole story to the congregation. (1763A) You are the congregation -- although I can only reach a few of you compared with the Foundation lists. I assure you I am not telling you the whole story, but enough, I hope, to get the policy on prior permission eliminated. I repeat, your silence suggests to the Foundation that nothing they do disturbs you. They can assume you are unconcerned with their policies which belie their Declaration of Trust and the Master's commission to us all. Unquestionably, the un-objecting silence of a good many dedicated Urantians to date has made the Trustees feel that their policies are acceptable. I have a sense of guilt and shame that I have been, until now, so forbearing, so silent on this issue. Do Not Be Deluded by Gossip and Rumors-- Jesus Commissioned You to Change the World
IF I BELIEVED that 533 policy was in accord with possible directives of the Revelators subsequent to 1955, I would go along with Foundation policy. Like you, I want to be, and I strive to be, as sure as I humanly can be, that my dedication is to doing the Father's will. I do not believe the Trustees are any more divinely guided than you are or than I am. The everywhere repeated words we hear, reportedly communicated to the original Forum when the Book was published in 1955: "You are now on your own". I believe to be true and I believe they were meant. We are on our own and should take our privilege and our responsibility far more seriously than we do.
All of us want to act in accord with the guidance I am sure we all seek, especially on sensitive, delicate, and substantive matters. But no "guidance" makes decisions for us. Our decisions are all human. I believe there are no anointed souls among us who are given celestial ready-made decisions that turn us against what Emerson termed "eternal law". As sons of God and brothers of all men, our effort should be to serve the highest and widest spiritual objectives--'on our own'--that means to strive to carry out the Book's directives.
Yes, I have heard on rare occasions the whispered gossip and maunderings: "The Trustees must be right. They are so set in their policies they must be getting guidance, communications." Examine this idea, which, when stated, is usually in querulous tones about the issues I have been discussing in this paper. Any reader who believes it, is saying in effect that the teachings of our vast and great Revelation, The Urantia Book, are already superseded by secret communications to a handful of humanly named servants of the Urantia Movement--teachings that go counter to Jesus' and the Book's teachings. If YOU can believe that idea. YOU are telling yourself in effect that some Private secret words to someone are to be accented above the restated words of Jesus, over and over, commissioning us to proclaim his Gospel to the world.
I trust you see that if Trustee policies are inconsistent with the Book's teachings, yet come from above, then the Revelation that even the superuniverse rulers had a hand in providing us is now subordinated to some words from beings unknown. The idea is preposterous to me. After being in the Sadler Forum and its successive or subsequent organizations since September, 1924, (I was then 26, not a child) I believe The Urantia Book will never be superseded until some distant date from now, and then only by another Epochal Revelation, not by anonymous spirits secretly passing little "do's and don'ts" to fallible human Trustees. If Revelators in the future ever cancel the "you are on your own" it will not be to discredit the Book and Jesus' instructions. Of that you may be certain.
PONDER with me now how we Urantia-readers must move, even change some, if we are to prepare the way for the world's change, and meanwhile help change it ourselves, as we are charged again and again to do.
Remarkable and brilliant Bill Sadler (Wm. S., Jr.) who helped found the Brotherhood, was its first President, one of the original five Trustees, a fantastic scholar of and speaker on "the Book", wrote--and said: "The Brotherhood is designed to promote the Book and the Book is designed to bring God and man closer to each other." That has become an increasing need if our Western civilization is to persist and prevail.
In 1962, Warren Kulieke, then Brotherhood President, said "We have formed a Brotherhood for disseminating these truths." (Jesus' teachings) Although those early Brotherhood executives had a much smaller base of circulation than the still small base of today, they clearly understood that the nature of our Movement (if it was to move at all) was evangelistic to "Promote, increase, and expand" understanding of cosmology -- and Jesus' teachings. A recent Brotherhood head wished to do this. Policy prevented it.
Some readers who have not yet intently studied the Book's purposes and its instructions to Jesus' followers, all of them, shudder when they hear the word "promote", and related synonymous words. They believe "selling" has no place in a religious Movement. The Catholic Church and all other churches came about through "selling". Martin Luther, Calvin, and John Wesley can testify. This nation, its Constitution, and its Declaration of Independence were all the results of "selling", or "persuasion", as has been every successful good thing or institution on earth.
I have been told it is wrong to "sell people" on Jesus' message. They do not know of the Evangelist Training Camp at Bethsaida? Our all-wise Revelators included in the U-Bk long discussions by Rodan, "one of the greatest of his race".( Greek) Rodan delivered 10 lectures at Jesus' Magadan Park encampment. He taught: "You cannot hope for a large measure of success in either secular or religious work unless you can learn how to persuade your fellows, to prevail with men."
Jesus talked with Rodan. He knew what was being taught at his encampments and at his training meetings. Our Revelators knew what they were doing in printing Rodan's words--and in the many instructions in the Book to evangelize. They taught. "Disseminate", "proclaim", "evangelize". They taught positive action. While our early officials understood this and taught the same, today we are being taught the opposite--suppression, restraint, holding back. And even in making speeches and writing articles within our U-Bk family, we must ask permission to quote words that the Revelators vouchsafed us--and that Jesus tells us again and again--to tell the world.
No reader of these words can tell me of a single great boon to mankind. or of any great and successful institution, benevolent, charitable, industrial. political, any kind--that became great without effective selling effort. There are precisely NONE.
Individuals who do not understand "selling" and its essential role in every important endeavor that has advanced civilization (and its spirituality) are apt to err grievously in guiding a Movement that simply must fail without intelligently Planned and executed evangelization. (A Trustee not long ago told an audience in a reproduced speech--I don't know what brought up the subject--that: "...advertising is very expensive if used effectively." Also "the purpose of publicity is to arouse curiosity" The truth is that advertising is very expensive only when it is used ineffectively. Reminds me of a man who stepped on a nickel fortune-telling scale and--his hands occupied--told his wife to pluck the card when it came out and read it to him. She read: "You are charming and intellectual, appealing to the other sex", and after ever so slight a pause, she said: "they have your weight wrong too."
A nickel scale is hardly qualified to pronounce truth as regards highly disparate individuals. A small board of five Trustees, no matter how hard-working, sincere and well-meaning, is hardly qualified to pronounce wise, viable policies in many vital professional specialty fields, without widely disparate assistance that KNOWS the OBJECTIVES those Trustees are supposed to achieve. No specialty field is more important to our Movement than that of promotion, the very thought of which is anathema to some, if not all, the Foundation Trustees. This alone can lead to our Revelation's failure.
A Supplementary Board Coordinated With The Trustees
UNLESS the Trustees can be induced to have a professionally competent worldly experienced supplementary board working in coordination with them, can you expect any really important advances? Yet, the Foundation's job is one of the most important (I repeat and repeat) on earth. I would say the Brotherhood's too, except for the fact of its total subjugation by the Trustees.
Finally, the Fifth Epochal Revelation to this entire planet, deserving of the best and highest talents and specialized capabilities on earth, isn't even calling upon and utilizing the best talents in even our relatively small circle of reader-believers.
IF a supplementary advisory or Board of U-readers of great caliber is appointed to work closely alongside the Trustees, no good is accomplished by it unless they meet and continue to meet with regularity, and are permitted to appraise, recommend, and execute (or help execute) major policies. The object of expanding the talent available to 533 is not simply to endorse what the presently limited (in time. talent, and experience, as all boards are) suggests or demands. The object is to enlarge greatly the range of abilities to be played against a formidable and perpetually increasing array of functions and problems as our Movement grows.
Five people, no matter how effective they may be, even if they were all widely experienced, even if they were all intellectual standouts, and even if they all had proven executive abilities, and even if they were all creatively imaginative in such essential specialties to any growth organization as promotion and communication, and even though they were superb examples of panic-free Christ-like living, would have to be supreme egoists to believe they should finalize fundamental policy decisions in our Movement, unaided, in highly disparate specialized fields.
What dynamic institution or effective religious organization or growth enterprise, in this broad land, having lost its five sole executive Trustee or Board organization in a plane crash, would be inclined to employ ours away from us? (I remind you, I am to focus your attention on our Trustees' policies.) What great executive or Movement studying our Foundation-Brotherhood policies would want to employ our policy makers as a group?
Our five Trustees, appointed to life terms, and on a self-perpetuating Board, not subject as are practically all institutional boards on earth, to the will of the people who make and support the institution--are attempting to do far too much alone and without advice and consent. Not a good substitute for the needed best talents on earth! Our Movement, if it is to get off the ground, needs to help and bolster our Trustees in regards to Goals, Policies, Organization, Personnel, Facilities, Promotion and Expansion, Methods and Procedures, Financial Condition, and Financial Requirements--and more.
Yet, our form of organization encourages our Trustees to ignore this truth, and to believe they are right in all they do, and we need nothing more.
I repeat, it is not the intention or pretense of this paper to prescribe the substantial program that might correct all, or even some, of our problems. My object is to awaken all U-readers who feel any responsibility to the Revelators, to the Master, to God, to awaken them to the fact we are on dead center. Such Committees as are functioning, such "works" as are in the works, are bound to achieve very little, no matter how good they are, unless we can eliminate all jealousies, all fears that authority may be eroded, all personal prejudices, all limiting viewpoints. We must become a cohesive intelligently guided whole, Trustees and all. We will have to begin to put the good of the Movement and the many, many people it should serve but is not serving, ahead of all else. Our five Trustees, almost alone, make decisions affecting literally millions of people of today and tomorrow. with confidence that whatever they do has to be right and must be supported. Their history proves something else. I write without malice. They must respond without malice. Our Movement demands it. You must demand it. Otherwise our Movement is throttled by unwarranted Trustee policies-demands.
You may be sure that if our leaders were being given divine guidance and leadings we would be infinitely further along in organization and achievement in line with our Principal Object And Purpose and we would have well supported Plans for translations, growth. education. and evangelization on a broad scale. I believe most readers will agree that none of us are likely to Get divine guidance and assistance except as an adjunct or "assist" when we have first done the very best we can with human resources--our own, and those available to us.
JESUS GAVE A CONTINUING COMMISSION TO US ALL;
RESPOND TO IT AND MAKE IT LIVE!
My Considered Advice here to all U-Bk readers is this: Don't be cowed or confused. Be of good cheer. As a U-Bk reader you are extraordinarily blessed. Do what you believe in your heart, and what--with your spirit approving--you believe to be good for the Movement. It is better for you to try and miss and sometimes err, then to fail a soul that has been brought near you for your soul-help. Love the Book and the Father dearly--and go about his business. Reach out and feel for the need many souls are waiting to articulate or to have met. Obey the Lord Jesus--proclaim!
Simply be rational, and fair in your "fair use" of quotes, but quote!! Jesus did not expect his apostles to proclaim his Gospel without quoting him, and he forbade them not. The Revelators do not expect us to "promote, expand, and improve human understanding of cosmology and Jesus' teachings" without quoting our Revelation. And they forbade us not. It is only 533's policy--that goes beyond protecting inviolate the text--only human policy, that forbids us. You can be sure you would have to quote radically and wrong-headedly to be culpably, actionably, in violation of the copyright. And although the Trustee's policy would suggest they don't believe it, I believe there are no Urantia-reader-family-members who would do that.
The time is past for hiding our heads and our Gospel--our Revelation--in the sand. It is time for a Great Awakening, for all of us to shrug off our Movement's unreasonable strictures, its lethargy, its failures to move. It is time to make Plans, annual Plans, five year plans, time to do effective fund raising, to assert Priorities and goals. Time to provide alternate plans for the starting of, and programming for, far more Study Groups. Time for our conferences and meetings to emphasize the spiritual--and our responsibilities more, and more seriously. Time to get back to the customary channel of book distribution--through wholesalers, if we hope to become successful in the marketing of Books. Way past time for the Trustees to be aided by a continuing advisory Board of some of the outstanding and capable big league U readers who could help radically in multiplying our Movement's effectiveness and success. (I suggested this to the Foundation in a White Paper several years ago. ) It is time for the mustering of experience and brain power for the raising of money for translations, time for precisely selected foundations that could provide such funds. It is time for stimulating anew the heart and soul of our Movement.
What is more important on earth? What kind of Movement is this--sanctioned by superuniverse executives, informed and instructed by Great Celestial Personalities, nurtured and supervised for years by Revelators--that doesn't eagerly call upon all available specialized brain-power among its believers to help achieve the Lord's clearly stated purpose?
What reader-believer can ponder U-Bk references I have provided, and assert that ours is a vigorous exciting evangelization making the maximum effort possible to fulfill the commission placed upon us--one with serious dedication to the aim, ultimately, of winning the world?
If great plans are not made, great plans cannot be carried out. If great goals are not set, great goals will not be reached. If meaningful action is not undertaken, action's fruits will not be harvested. If growth is not sought, growth will not come. If the intelligence and talents of the extraordinary people in our Movement are not used on behalf of the Movement, its achievements will continue to be ordinary, very ordinary.
Please, dear reader, if you prayerfully ponder our privileges, and our assignments within the Book, you will sooner or later be seized with an urgent and startling realization of the immensity of your personal responsibility to evangelize for this--an EPOCHAL-- Revelation. Think of it! Only the 5th in the world's vibrant, accelerating, on-rush of history. The Urantia Book! It's coming--one of the greatest occurrences of all Urantia time! And you are chosen to play a part in its unfolding before the world. For what other reason do You think you became a U-Bk reader-believer? An occasional reader (especially at 533) likes to say: "Take it easy. The world is not yet ready for The Urantia Book." And that is true. But it was given us early so that all of us, including the Trustees, could thenceforth diligently work at making the world ready. No old-time Forum member dares deny that. making the world ready is a colossal job, harder than evangelizing when the world is ready--a job that needs doing now, not a generation from now. Jesus directed all of us in the present tense. His was an insistent "now" command for each succeeding generation. And ours has The Urantia Book as guide and mentor. Nowhere did he say: "Sometime in the future proclaim my Gospel". The Trustees Hear A Different Drum Beat
But the Trustee policy makers hear a different drum beat than that sounded by Jesus' demands. The urgency of Jesus' repeated exhortations does not--sometimes--reach Trustee ears. I hear the insistent demands of Jesus and of the Book again and again, night and day, and I am embarrassed and chagrined that I so inadequately respond.
A long speech by a Trustee some months ago reflects the drum beat the Foundation hears. It was considered so important it was set in type and widely circulated in the Brotherhood's Journal. He asks at the end: "How will we answer the call of destiny?" And he answers at once: "ultimately Father, Thy will be done."
I believe most Urantians would never have added that "ultimately".
Jesus had long taught his believers to pray: ". ..your will be done. " (1806B) He named as the one prayer appropriate to all God's children: "Nevertheless, your will be done." (1640A) But nowhere except in this Trustee's speech have I been able to find: "Ultimately, Thy will be done."
Does "ultimately" generally index the present Trustees' policies, its attitudes? The Foundation's Principal Object does not read "ultimately promote, increase, and expand the peoples' understanding of the teachings of Jesus". Nor does the Brotherhood Constitution which echoes the Foundation's Object, say "ultimately" in stating its Purpose. Nowhere does the Bible say: "Ultimately, Thy will be done."
The philosophy of the true believers of Jesus, conservative and liberal alike, is not "ultimately". It is "now"! Never can the ultimate will of God be done, but by doing it now whenever and wherever.
This entire paper is an earnest plea that we recognize the urgency that has attended the admonitions of Jesus. whenever and wherever his voice has been heard for 2000 years. Never has he suggested "Wait a generation". Never has he said: "Not now, but -- ultimately, the Father's will be done."
As reader-believers do we believe we should read the Book among ourselves and wait for another generation to come and obey the Master to proclaim his Gospel?
The First 1300 pages of The Urantia Book are preliminary to its last 800 pages, the most important 800 pages of print on earth--"The Life And Teachings Of Jesus". The 800 pages are not in the Book to support the first 1300. No, the first 1300 pages are in The Urantia Book to provide an immeasurable cosmic backdrop -- an infinite setting and support for the Creator of our universe--living a life with a mission on our tiny planet.
And the essence of his mission was--and is--to proclaim to us and to his universe the sonship of all men to God, and that all men are brothers. The whole Urantia Book entrusted (oftentimes by peculiar twists of chance or circumstance) to the Trustees and to you and to me is to foster the proclamation and expansion of that Gospel. The crux of the 2100 Pages is in Jesus' admonitions, I repeat, toward the very end of the Book. to us. to proclaim that Gospel to the world. It is for that purpose the Book is here. It is for that purpose that a Foundation established and a Brotherhood founded. Have we forgotten? Are we being led aright. Are we being lulled into slothfulness? The message of the Book is "proclaim" "spiritualize mankind," "Evangelize" Now! Not 50 or 100 years from now. Not ultimately.
And of course, not blatantly, foolishly. But we, every one of us, should be evangelizing now, earnestly, even if quietly, each in his or her own type of ministry in keeping with our Book's character and instruction.
Remember that true religion was delivered by the Spirit of Truth from the custody of priests For The World. (Certainly not to be taken over by copyright custodians.) (2044C) It was to be made manifest in the individual souls of men. It was not to be husbanded in our own souls and small groups alone, but was to be used in touching and in transforming the lives and souls of others. (2063D) Pray that we may all be united in loving Cooperation to strive for realization of the Foundation's presently neglected "Principal Object" and the Brotherhood's neglected "Purpose". Otherwise...?
Nero's name has lived in history, yet he fiddled while only Rome burned. Which U-reader-believers names will live in history for fiddling while an entire nation, even a world burns?
A WARNING TO US ALL?
The following nine lines are quoted from p. 1917, last 5 words; 1918A:
"WHAT a sorry sight for successive generations of the professional followers of Jesus to say, regarding their stewardship of divine truth: 'Here, Master, is the truth you committed to us a hundred or a thousand years ago. We have lost nothing; we have faithfully preserved all you gave us; we have allowed no changes to be made in that which you taught us; here is the truth you gave us.' But such a plea concerning spiritual indolence will not justify the barren steward of truth in the presence of the Master. In accordance with the truth committed to your hands will the Master of truth require a reckoning." (Midwayer Commission, 1917D,19 18A) IF U readers much longer accept the "prior permission" policy without protest and demand for change, our plea to the master may have to be:
"Master, it was inconvenient for us to quote and teach the Revelation you gave us. The stewards wanted it kept pretty much buried. We didn't feel like making a fuss, the stewards were such nice people. We join them in returning your truth to you. We know you repeatedly demanded that successive generations of believers teach successive generations of men. But you know--writing letters and all that, asking permission-- and it's hard to teach a Revelation without quoting it. . . "
Perhaps at that point we will hear a stern: "Enough!"
Ours Is a small planet--but in terms of keeping everyone from quoting and paraphrasing the 2100 page, million word Book, it is a huge world indeed. Nevertheless, the Foundation writes: "All requests for permission to use material from The Urantia Book require the permission of the Trustees...copyright protection... also includes paraphrasing, use of story line, and the particular expression of ideas, among other things." (9/15/1980)
One of the most beautiful sentences in the U Bk reads: "Even when the air currents are ascending, no bird can soar except by outstretched wings. " (1002A) Can you imagine the Revelators giving an instruction to the Trustees (which seems sometimes implied): "Be sure that no one ever quotes any of the beautiful words of The Urantia Book without your written prior permission" ?
In September 1980, Trustees also point out that they are not readily available at the office to make quoting decisions, so they need 6 weeks to respond. And the world waits for the convenience of these self-appointed surrogates of Jesus Christ who is attempting to reach a spiritually deprived world. The absurdity of this policy is beyond human understanding.
The Urantia Movement will continue to be an insignificant influence in the world until the Trustees decide the PRINCIPAL OBJECT of the Declaration of Trust under which they operate and the PURPOSE of the Brotherhood, are to be taken seriously--and obeyed. With policies framed to advance the Revelation, and not to conserve and restrict it!
With God's help and guidance, let us, all of us, from high to low, and wherever we are, at least double our deliberate conscious effort to be guided by our Great Revelation in the purpose for which we are on earth--to serve our fellow man and to become more Godlike. This is our only suitable compensating thanks to our Celestial benefactors and overseers. We need to go far beyond being U-Bk readers. We MUST, we simply MUST, if we take Jesus and our Great Book seriously, become U-Bk reader evangelists. This we are commissioned to become
I Believe no earthly friendships or loyalties should be advanced to excuse ourselves for failing this Planet's Fifth Epochal Revelation's demands upon us, in order that we may avoid difficult issues. Nor should we permit our natural distaste for confrontations to subdue our consciences while we betray the trust of the Revelation's Celestial sponsors. Of all authorities who have any call upon us as Urantia-reader-believers, they are the highest. They are the wisest. And they are by all means the first to whom we have obligations we must fulfill. A warm and fraternal adieu. Clyde Bedell Laguna Hills, Ca. 92653
Postscript Readers and administrators who would continue the status quo, will attack this paper as negative criticism. They will say it criticizes instead of presenting a program for curing all it says is wrong. No effort at reform has ever been made without being attacked in turn.
Experienced readers however, as well as those who weigh the evidence, will know that a call for marked change is preliminary to an essential thorough analysis of an operation, which only then can be the basis for prescriptions for remedy. (For instance, no one can offhandedly say what our program for translations should be. After 25 years we have no foreign translation available whatever. Do most literate Finns speak Swedish instead of their own language? Is the only translation under way for a population smaller then Chicago's?) Broadly, qualified readers in several fields should be named to thoroughly analyze our involvement presently. Then come up with a detailed remedial program.
Results from a sound program cannot all be realized for years. But the readers we make tomorrow based on intelligent plans, will make readers the 'next day", who will solve those problems "the next day." NOTHING BUT CONTINUAL STRIVING TOWARD SPECIFIED GOALS WITHIN OUR REACH--AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A movement CAN RESULT IN OUR SUCCESSORS' STRIVING FOR GOALS WITHIN THEIR REACH, AND SO ON. Our Movement today is blindly going in spur-of-the-moment (or spur-of-the-decade) uncoordinated directions.
Meanwhile, our Movement needs persisting prayers (l) for its regeneration and success, (2) for its re-direction onto the course it was established to follow, (3) for the Trustees who have an infinitely greater responsibility than their program indicates, and (4) for every one of us to make a greater contribution to executing a program which will merit and win all the financial contributions it will require.
The time and effort of all of us should be spent in literally advancing our Movement, not in retarding it, or struggling against others of us who would retard it. The commission Jesus has placed upon every one of us is so overwhelmingly great that our unflagging best will hardly be good enough. All our energies spent otherwise than in advancing our Movement in the direction it was designed to go represents costly waste and an affront to God.
A LETTER TO YOU ABOUT A LETTER TO ME
Dear Reader: I have just belatedly received from the editors mentioned in this paper, a copy of the Foundation's letter granting permission to quote the 11 words. Permission was expected. On what basis could they possibly excuse a refusal?
The copy was sent me so I would understand the reason for the editors handling my article as they would in printing. (Yes, the provisos for notes et cetera were there.) You are likely to read the briefer article in the publication before you see this. The letter was 9 paragraphs, 59 lines long. And yes, it was written by the Foundation president.
In the 6th paragraph the Foundation letter reads: "However, Clyde clearly has the right to formulate and express his views. Our willingness to grant copyright permission in this instance is based on our desire to be fair-minded." This is a perfect example of what earnest reader-believers take exception to. The President indicates the Foundation Trustees are being "fair-minded" to grant permission to the editors (and me) to quote 11 U-Bk words, when we already had the right before the empty formality of the petition was (against my wishes) sent them.
Urantia Book readers who wish to heed Jesus' and the Book's instructions to us, should be embarrassed by their officials pretending to give me a right which I already had before I first put the quote down on paper. (If a mother has already given permission for a child to go swimming, an officious brother or sister cannot subsequently grant that identical permission. The prevailing permission already exists and has expunged the prior existing opportunity to give that right. The sibling can add a juvenile personal consent that is not needed, but it is an unnecessary and false gesture.) The great waste in time and money and the annoying delays and discouragements in using quotes should be abandoned for some mature fact-facing. Our Movement needs to have acknowledged, the freedoms and privileges acknowledged everywhere else.
The 5th paragraph of the President's letter is somewhat shocking. It reads:
"By the way, we thought we had better point out that the quote (Clyde) used in the article is not correct. There is no sentence on page 2044 which reads, "This gospel of the kingdom belongs to all who believe it". Rather, there is a sentence which reads, "This gospel of the kingdom belongs to both Jew and gentile, to rich and poor, to free and bond, to male and female, even to the little children." We would recommend that either this full and correct quotation be used or that the partial quote be used as follows: " 'This gospel of the kingdom belongs to'. . . all who believe it."
The President's punctuation in the sentence above indicates that only the first 7 words of my quote were from the U Bk--and the last 4 were my own words. He states flatly my quote is "not correct".
Please get your Urantia Book now and turn to 2044C, the reference my article gave for my quote. Read the next to last paragraph on the page and you will read my entire quote precisely as I used it. "This gospel of the kingdom belongs to all who believe it". I have long insisted that some top people at 533 do not know and understand the Concordex. They do not know that the letters A, B, C, D stand for descending quarters of the page. 2044C means a reference is to be found in the 3rd quarter-page down. If Kendall had scanned only the C quarter of the page (not even the whole page, as his letter suggests he did) he would not have erred in saying: "there is no sentence on p. 2044 which reads," etc. Oh well, he is a busy man handling volumes of unnecessary details, such as petitions to quote 11 words from the Book. And heaven knows, we all make mistakes.
A FINAL HEARTFELT APPEAL
INDULGE ME, my brother or sister reader-believer as, prompted by the Foundation letter, I make a last earnest appeal to you for the awakening and re-dedication our Movement sorely needs.
If our movement is to fulfill its obligation, and the expectation of the Master to become a monumental influence on earth, we must all awaken to the great difference between reading for our own enlightenment and pleasure alone, and reading with intention to help change the world. To do the later, along with self-improvement, is the purpose for which the Revelation was given us. Making speeches and writing articles primarily for our own consumption, whether they be by officials or the rest of us, does little to spread and to proclaim the gospel to the world. Which, we must remember was, and is, Jesus' repeated and urgent command to us.
"Jesus required his followers (not just his apostles. C.B. ) to react positively and aggressively to every life situation...He never exhorted his followers patiently to bear their obligations but rather with energy and enthusiasm to live up to the full measure of their human responsibilities and divine privileges in the kingdom" (1770A and D) (I believe this paragraph applies to me. Does it apply to you ?)
We must all--old-timers and Trustees, activists, readers, and novitiate readers--convert our beliefs into actions (1769D) that will in time become so numerous and effective and widespread that they will give a universally notable Jesusonian coloration to all possible earthly affairs. Realize in the depths of your consciousness that there is what the Book is here for. It is God's fifth epochal effort of the kind on this earth. It is in our charge! It must get its momentum from us alone. When do we face it?
Does this sound too vast a job, to great an objective? Does it sound too improbably and heroic to realize? After all, we are so inadequate! But -- the Book is here to realize precisely that: Through us, and more, and ever more, reader-believers. If the magnitude of this imposing truth has not gripped and possessed your heart and mind, it is because from top to bottom we have not inspiredly pursued the declared objects for which our organizations were set up--the primary, the principal objects and purposes. And it is because we have not determinedly, like people who know and relish their divine assignment, officially and unofficially, solicited and accepted the help of all qualified reader-believers in all essential functions of a Movement "on its way."
Witness the astonishing achievements, productivity, influence, and brotherly-sisterly coordination of diverse highly developed talents of the Family-of-God Foundation's many devoted volunteers. Whether it be the utilization of highly technical or artistic or literary or other talents, or the patient assumption of essential but humble tasks, the whole organization is warmed and stimulated and fueled by a passion to serve the gospel of The Urantia Book, even though policy requires their not mentioning (unless they are asked) the Book's name. The Family of God makes professional, highly effective, frontal attacks on areas of spiritual ignorance, spiritual hunger, spiritual wonderment, spiritual living, and worship. It has leadership, and notably, it has leadership that inspires and accepts the varied gifts and talents and viewpoints of people who are unified in spirit, but not uniform in FOG prescribed approaches. It is an example of what an entire inspired Urantian organization could be.
Martin Luther King had a dream. I have a dream of what an Epochal Revelation could accomplish in this 20th century world if its every reader could, in spirit of brotherly love, be encouraged and permitted to spend his or her time and talents to produce gains for the Master, and not have his or her contributions to the Movement discounted or disdained by officialdom--not because it was obviously bad for the Movement, but because it did not meet some pet views or prejudices of individuals within officialdom. (Some few people feel that a majority of three on an official body represents group wisdom. But that a majority of all activists and readers contrary to the three, represents group ignorance.) The Revelators have fully done their part. We cannot expect them to do our human part. By now we should have a sobering realization of what an Epochal Revelation is. This Revelation is a surrogate of a Universe Creator, of Jesus Christ, here by his planning and counsel. It delivers to us his precise words commissioning us. If we love and profess to follow him, if we are believers, we are to work for him, to do for him, to gain this world for him for the world's good. If we do not feel espoused to Jesus, we do not deserve, and it will be impossible for us to receive, the assistance and the richest blessings He can bestow.
You personally are in possession of this remarkable Revelation. You have it as a means of playing a part, even if ever so small, a vital and active part, as a partner of God with it. Vital? Yes ! And your life can never burgeon and blossom so beautifully and gratifyingly any other way as it can in this service. This is true no matter how timid about promoting the gospel you may be, and no matter how limited you believe are your talents for the job. Should you not help see to it that our Movement moves? I appeal to you for prayerful consideration of all the above. And for God's blessings upon the very great task before us--and before our Trustees--a task which all reader- believers are called upon to discharge in unity--not uniformity. A warm adieu again. (C.B.)
A WORD TO THOSE WHO WILL CRITICIZE ME
FOR CRITICIZING TRUSTEE POLICIES
I know this paper will cause some unhappiness. In a permissive world that has fostered much adult criminality by spoiling children, that has favored criminals over their victims, and that has permitted social degeneration rather than face issues and unpleasant tasks, there are U-Bk-readers who would prefer continued regression of our Movement, rather than see the feelings of hard-working people hurt.
But when it came to issues of right and wrong, of progress for--or neglect of--his Gospel, Jesus was never namby-pamby and permissive. He wanted his Gospel-to-change-the- world promoted. There was one main issue: Accept his Gospel and proclaim it to the world. When He was convinced the Jews were irreversibly determined to reject his Gospel, He called them "wicked sons", "children of evil", "offspring of vipers", "hypocrites"--to their faces. When his professed followers needed a lesson as to their responsibility toward him, He told the parables of the pounds--and of the talents. (See "Parables" in index) He criticized the "slothful" servants. As ALWAYS, He was doing the will of the Father. And He instructed the twelve and a group of believers "to do to all men that which you know I would do to them in like circumstances" JESUS DID NOT AVOID ISSUES THAT HAD TO BE FACED FOR THE GOOD OF HIS GOSPEL -- HIS KINGDOM. And the Father's will was his support. He also chided his apostles when they erred. He did so because his Gospel Movement was more important than the feelings of a few individuals. I point this out for I know some readers believe it is better to let our Movement suffer than to have Trustees offended by criticism of their policies.
God doesn't talk to me and tell me what to do. Nor does He to the Trustees. But you may be sure I am attempting to follow what I believe is the Father's will--as Jesus always KNEW! He was -- even when he denounced the Jews and rebuked his apostles. There is danger of our falling "victim", as did Judas, ''to the peaceful deception of pleasant adjustment. " (1566C)
This Thin Book is available to you for distribution to other Urantia-reader-activists. Will you please inform others of it? -- any readers whom you believe might help our Movement awaken and "get moving" in earnest ? Do you know that the National Council of Churches, with all its enormous financial resources now has a task force working on proposals to update the Bible" ? They propose to eliminate all references to God as "Father", all references to Jesus as "Son of God", all references to "brethren". (The Religious Rountable, Arlington, VA) What happens then to "Brotherhood" ? And so on. The enemies of God and Jesus as we know them from our Great Book, are radically increasing and radically increasing their activities-- while we U Bk readers calmly--even indifferently--carry on "life as usual", retrogress in Book distribution and the winning of new readers and new souls, fail in personal "evangelization"., and keep our Great Book and its Word practically a secret.) When, OH WHEN!, will we begin to take our instruction from Jesus seriously?
We lack a sense of "service to the world." We lack dynamics: we lack leadership. We lack a sense of duty to the Master. If you believe this paper might stimulate others to a desire to act and "help others to a decision to act", you may order additional copies which I will send to addresses provided. My first mailing is sent gratis of course, unsolicited. It is the only way I can begin to reach some people who feel we must keep our Revelation from failure. I have no list to address at reader-expense, as has 533.
I do not hope to recover even my out-of-pocket costs of this paper. But since my principal object in life is to contribute as much of my time and substance to our Movement as I possibly can, I make the contribution gladly-- for the world's need for every one of us to awaken and begin to take our Jesusonian commission seriously, is acute. I cannot tell how this paper will be received. It may stimulate and excite and inspire no one. In which case I will have worked in vain. On the other hand, if it touches the sensitive centers of response in our many readers who love Jesus, and sense what we owe him, this paper may possibly begin a turnaround in our affairs which in due time will be invaluable to the world. I consider that remote possibility, even improbability, worth all I have put into it--and may have to take as a result of it.
Clyde Bedell Laguna Hills, California